American Idol is an American singing competition television series created by Simon Fuller, produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, and distributed by FremantleMedia North America. It initially aired on Fox from June 11, 2002 to April 7, 2016 for 15 seasons. On March 11, 2018, the 16th season made its debut on ABC. It started as an addition to the Idols format that was based on Pop Idol from British television, and became one of the most successful shows in the history of American television. The concept of the series involves discovering recording stars from unsigned singing talents, with the winner determined by American viewers using phones, Internet, and SMS text voting. The winners of the first fifteen seasons, as chosen by viewers, are Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips, Candice Glover, Caleb Johnson, Nick Fradiani, and Trent Harmon. American Idol employs a panel of vocal judges who critique the contestants' performances. The original judges, for seasons one through eight, were record producer and music manager Randy Jackson, singer and choreographer Paula Abdul, and music executive and manager Simon Cowell. The judging panel for seasons 13, 14, and 15 on Fox consisted of singers Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. Season 16 brought three entirely new judges: singers Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. The first season was hosted by radio personality Ryan Seacrest and comedian Brian Dunkleman, but Seacrest remained as the sole master of ceremonies for the rest of the series.
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